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Team Robertson shows off their championship crests after the championship Bonspiel at the Inuvik Curling Club in March. The rest of Canada will be spared Team Robertson’s wrath on the ice… this time. Pictured are: Mark Robertson, Michael Fraser, Kevin McLeod and Glen Tingmiak.

With all three of the rinks representing the Northwest Territories at national championships this year, the fall was looking to be a great end to the year for Inuvik curling.

Not so since Covid-19, with both the 2021 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, which was to be held in Canmore, Alta. and the 2020 Canadian Curling Club Championship in Ottawa both having been officially cancelled on Aug. 11.

Mark Robertson, skip of Team Robertson, said his Ottawa-bound squad was disappointed with not being able to compete for the championship, but no one was at all surprised.

“We 100 per cent understand and agree that it is not the best time to have teams traveling from all corners of the country to compete in a curling event,” he said, adding the current focus was to get safety precautions in place and approval from the Chief Public Health office (CPHO) to be able to curl at all. “The Northwest Territories Curling Association (NWTCA) and the individual curling clubs in the territory have been working with the CPHO to carry the sport of curling into an earlier phase of the emerging wisely plan.

“It is expected that there will be curling in Inuvik in October.”

A diagram produced by Curling Canada with their Covid-19 on-ice recommendations. The NWTCA is currently preparing a return-to-play proposal for the Chief Public Health officer to review.
Photo Courtesy Curling Canada

Robertson added he anticipated there would be another meeting between the NWTCA within the next two weeks to further plans along. NWTCA had previously submitted a return-to-play proposal but the CPHO rejected that on Aug. 4.

White Robertson could not comment on what the next proposal would look like, he noted Curling Canada has released recommendations on how curling can be played safely in the current environment. Sweepers would be limited to one per throw and players would be required to keep social distancing from each other at all times.

Once they get permission to play, Robertson said the next step would be to find a way to celebrate the territorial champions accomplishments. He also noted his team wasn’t letting the cancellation of the 2020 Championships dampen their ambitions.

“We had spoke as a team and thought it would be nice if we could be included in next years Curling Club Championship, if there is one,” he said. “These are questions that will work themselves out over time though.”

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Eric Bowling

A lover of knowledge and adventure, Eric Bowling jumped at the opportunity to write for the Inuvik Drum and to see the world from a totally different vantage point. He has covered just about everything...

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